The Miami Dolphins gained 3,000 loyalty members in the first three days after launching its Fin Club Loyalty Rewards Program, the first of its kind in the National Football League, according to Claudia Lezcano, chief marketing officer.
The program is designed to reward fans for many of the same behaviors they would pursue anyway, such as following the team on social media, buying tickets and attending games, as well as to continue to expand and build the fan base, Lezcano said. “We’re really excited about this program. We wanted to provide ongoing access and rewards to our committed fans. We wanted to show them that we appreciate the things they are already doing. We wanted to make sure we rewarded our season ticket holders in special ways. We wanted further engagement from our social media fans.”
The Dolphins have 1.2 million followers on Facebook and 140,000 followers on Twitter, Lezcano said. We wanted to see how we could take that to the next level.”
The Fin Club loyalty program was in development for about a year, according to Lezcano. The Dolphins created the Fin Club in partnership with CrowdTwist, a company that provides a multi-channel customer relationship and loyalty platform for Pepsi, Sony Music, Zumiez and other brands in addition to the Dolphins. CrowdTwist supplies its customers with white label, Software-as-a-Service technology that measures and rewards brand customers based on their engagement and spending online and offline.
The program itself is offering six different, football-themed, levels of rewards. Fin Club members can advance from Scouted, to Rookie, Veteran, Pro Bowl, All Pro, all the way up to Hall of Fame level fan.
Dolphin season ticket holders will receive their Fin Club member cards in mid-July. The cards can be used at Sun Life Stadium, where the Dolphins play their home games, for 10 percent off of food, beverage and merchandise.
“We’re very excited about some of the unique game day experiences we will be offering our fans, Lorenzo said. Among some of the more unique rewards fans will be able to earn will be:
Limo ride to the stadium
Hosting a meeting in the locker room
Running out on to the field with a Dolphin flag
Exclusive stadium tours
Downloadable screen savers
Lezcano expects other National Football League teams to follow the Dolphin lead in launching loyalty programs to woo younger fans and to build continuing interest in the sales of tickets and other team revenue and profit-builders, including merchandise, subscription packages and other products.
“We’re very happy to share what we have done with other NFL teams,” Lezcano said. “We expect other teams to follow fairly quickly, though it will take them some time to set up the infrastructure.”
College sporting programs are also adding loyalty programs to build fan bases, though some of the rewards-earning activities are different, like attending “non-revenue” sporting events like track meets to get rewards like access to tickets for more popular events, like football games.